Thot – Obscured by the Wind (2011)

Thoth was considered one of the most important deities of the Egyptian pantheon. Thoth was often considered to be the heart which, according to the ancient Egyptians, is the seat of intelligence or the mind and tongue of the sun god Ra, as well as the means by which Ra’s will was translated into speech. He played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian mythology, such as maintaining the universe, and being one of the two deities who stood on either side of Ra’s boat, the other being Ma’at, who was also his wife. In the later history of ancient Egypt, Thoth became heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes, the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, and the judgment of the dead.
In the early 90s I’ve get interested in Tarot and by that I have been reading a lot about Egyptian mythology and several other books linked to this subjects, one of them being “The Book of Thoth : A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians”. That book describes the philosophy and the use of Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, a deck of Tarot cards designed by Crowley and co-designed and painted by Lady Frieda Harris. On the other hand, the “original” “Book of Thoth” is a book containing powerful magical spells that appears in an ancient Egyptian story from the Ptolemaic period which reflects the Egyptian belief that the gods’ knowledge is not meant for humans to know.
But for sure you must know about Thot – the band – is another nice discovery bring to my attention by Aurelien Dubois-Pham of Domino Media Agency. Gregoire Fray from Brussels, Belgium, guilty of unleashing this beast, created a quite exciting and unique mixture of electro-rock merging industrial, darkwave and indie/alternative rock elements.

“Spreading his universe with protagonists such as electrical thistles, speaking hills or mute windmills, Thot cleverly mixes rock and electronic music, industrial and acoustics sounds, freeing itself from any codes and turning stages upside down. Directed by Gregoire Fray, Thot became, along the years, a true collective, capable of electrifying live shows, visuals performances, acoustics happenings in the streets of Brussels and many artistic collaboration (remixes, workshop). On stage, Fray is joined by Gil de Chevigne, Hugo Peeters, Julien Forthomme and scenographer Arielle Moens, to make Thot a welded band, guilty of intense and intoxicating live acts.” (Official Bio)

“Obscured by The Wind” reminds me of the “The Fragile” era’s Nine Inch Nails (one extremely creative period for Reznor & Co.), but also of Android Lust. It’s a quite intense and colorful material, smoother, gloomier passages are twisted into powerful noise hurricanes, distorted guitars and electronic textures, filtered noises create intense, vibrating atmosphere and this unique construction made of catchy melodies and aggressive noises, rock explosions together bring to the surface a very interesting and expressive music. I’m only disappointed that I miss the visual part…
10 perfect songs make this album quite an intense and exciting experience. Recommended especially for Nine Inch Nails fans, but not exclusively. Just like
I, The Phonix I wrote about yesterday, this Belgian band is something really worth to listen.
“Eolien” introduced us smoothly in a tensioned, strange universe, just like the “Fool” of the Tarot deck, we take our first steps not really knowing what to expect. “Take a bow and Run” blows in noisily, I stick to the obvious Nine Inch Nails parallels, but don’t get me wrong, Thot is not a copy of it, we’re only talking about “sound-like” elements and Thot only exploring the same area of industrial rock. And the song is a pretty intense struggle between the catchy, powerful rock themes and smoother, mysterious and musical moments. “Dancing in the Corn” is a bridge, a subtle moment to calm which lead into the powerful “Moved Hills”, an absolute anthematic industrial rock songs with strong riffs and dizzy melodies. “Spellbound Fields” kicks like a mule, the heavy construction shifting from intense moments to calmer moments and create a nice, balanced “dance” between them, simultaneously increasing the tension. “Blue and Green (are melting down in a seed)” is a more spacier composition, reminds us there is might be a lot of soul in the machine. It’s a quite exciting journey, the apparently smoother introduction is twisted into a mind blowing experiment of noise and ending with a strange flow of noises accompanied by a soft piano. “Ortie” is another catchy industrial rock anthem, pretty intense one, nicely colored with noises and inspired themes. “Solid Insecure Flower” turning into a more musical area, the more softer melodies still are well colored by noises and crushing riffs, but the whole construction is spacier and smoother taking us from Heaven to Hell and back all over. Very beautiful. “The Hour Speller” grows slowly from a smooth theme into a quite distorted and schizophrenic one with an amazing groove and perfect balance between musical and noisy elements to ending nice and quietly. “Obscured by the Wind” close the set smoothly, but still tensioned at the end drowned in white noise(just like NIN’s “Hurt”). It’s just breath taking.
While yesterday I thought my birthday came earlier, today might be Christmas. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? 😀

Released on March 11 , 2011, all music was written, programmed and arranged by Grégoire Fray. Drums were performed by Gil de Chevigné. Engineered by François Vincent and Grégoire Fray @ Polysound Studio, Brussels, Fall 2008, mixed by François Vincent and Grégoire Fray @ Rec’n’roll Studio, Brussels, spring 2009 and mastered by Tamàs Gresicki @ Recn’n’roll Studio, Brussels, summer 2009. Artwork by Anne Fontenelle.

Thot – Official Site (Vegetal Noise Music for Vegetal Lovers)
Thot – Official Blog
Thot @ Bandcamp
Thot @ Soundcloud
Thot @ MySpace
Domino Media Agency

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